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Browser Speed Battles: Chrome 4, Firefox 3.6, and Opera 10.5

As ever, the browser war is in full effect with great, new updates on some of the most popular Internet browsers available.  When it comes down to judging between browsers, there are many different factors to consider, including customizability, user- and developer-friendliness, extension and add-on support, and the basic design of the browsers.  Aside from these factors, however, speed and performance are also essential to make a browser stand out from the rest.  This article will go over some of the speed and performance tests conducted on Firefox 3.6, Opera 10.5, and Chrome 4.

Overview of the browsers

These three browsers have long been favorites in the industry.  Firefox 3.6 has just recently been released, featuring a number of speed and performance increases, as well as support for a new theme system and new developer functions.  Chrome 4 is a highly-customizable, lightweight, and fast Internet browser that has won over many of its fans because of its simplicity, effectiveness, and efficiency.  Opera 10.5 is near its release date, but you can already try out the pre-release version of this browser, which has a number of intuitive and innovative built-in features.  Apple’s Safari 4 will also be included in the testing. This is the newest version of the browser, which includes developer tools, website favorites, cover flow browsing, and some other great features.

Performance test results

*  Boot-up and warm loading -  So which browser will load the fastest from the time you open it to the time that it is fully up and functioning?  The fastest browser in both boot-up and warm loading tests was Opera 10.5 Beta, followed by Chrome 4, Firefox 3.6, and Safari 4.

*  JavaScript testing -  JavaScript is an essential component to any browser, which allows users and developers to get the most out of their software.  The best performer in the JavaScript testing was Opera 10.5 Beta, this time blowing the competition out of the water.  Coming in second is Chrome 4, then Safari 4 in third, and Firefox 3.6 in last place.

*  Tab loading -  These days, it isn’t enough to have just one window open for browsing, which is why tabbed browsing has become a standard.  For this test, nine tabs were loaded on browsers that had clean histories, caches, and cookies to see which would load all of the tabs the fastest.  Chrome 4 took the cake, beating the competition by cutting the nine-tab load speed to nearly 50% of Opera 10.5 Beta’s nearly 10-second load time.  In third place was Safari 4 and in last was Firefox 3.6.  There was little difference in loading times between Safari, Opera, and Firefox, however.

*  Memory use -  Memory usage is a big factor when it comes to the efficiency of any software.  When it comes to browsers, it’s important to run a number of memory tests.  The first memory test was done on clean installs of the browsers, with no extensions.  Firefox 3.6 came in first place for the no extensions memory test, followed by Safari 4, Opera 10.5 Beta, and Chrome 4 in last.  In the browser war for memory use with extensions, Firefox 3.6 won out with the smallest memory footprint, while Chrome 4 came in second.

*  Overall ratings -  Overall, Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha got the highest ratings, followed closely by Chrome 4.  Firefox 3.6 took third place, and Safari 4 was in a close fourth.

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